There are two other charts that stand out from a look at US exports and imports.
Above is a chart of exported goods less imported goods. Notice how this number came in about $200 billion from the end of 2006 to the end of $2008. Now
Notice the exported goods continued to increase in the latter half of the latest expansion -- especially when imported goods started to drop.
These charts tell us that while the US is still a net importer, we also have the ability to export
1.) if the rest of the world is growing, and
2.) the dollar is weaker